Well, before I dig into this piece, I’d just like to express your surprise which no doubt peaked your interest in this particular post. ‘What the?!’, ‘How’s that possible?’, ‘Absurd!’, ‘Don’t be silly. Why would writers have trouble writing?!’
Yes, laugh at the idea, but this idea isn’t just mine but shared by a lot more people than one tinny-tiny Nepali writer and a naturalized Aussie (a.k.a, me!)
Thomas Mann pinned that donkey’s tail quite accurately. I confess! I have a lot of difficulty writing. It’s not just the act of writing that is painful but all the aftermath, the emotions that are hard to handle, the anguish whether you did it well, how it will be perceived etc.
Think about it. A writer lives in the story realm for a very lengthy process: from inception of story, to character development, story development, writing process, countless editing process, and then the final draft! No one else, not the reader, nor actors of screenplay/plays etc. spend as much time being the character as much as the writer. Nope. No one but the writer knows that character, and ALL other characters, their motives and drive in a single story in such depth. In fact, I think I’m safe in telling you all that when these characters are written in stories, writers ‘become’ the characters. We don’t just understand the characters and try and portray them as an actor would, but for the duration of the writing process, we are the characters of stories, telling ‘our’ story. We see, feel, say, touch, taste everything the character does in that time we are them – or at least it feels very real, every situation they are in.
Now, go back to Mann’s statement; that writers have the most trouble writing. Can you not see why this is now? We are not only being the people who the stories are about, but we also have to learn to separate ourselves in an odd way simultaneously so than we may be able to jot down the story as we ‘play’ it. Then, to add more weight to this task, we have to constantly be aware of the POV of the story: whether first person, third/omnipresent, and the structure of the language, words and their meanings etc.
It’s all a lot to handle. No wonder sometimes the question ‘How do you write?’ gets asked, and I guess we will all tell you, we do not know how. All we know is that it is ‘one word at a time’ like Stephen King once noted. One word at a time; for our mental capacity is already so preoccupied with a hell of a lot more that is going on than on the actual ‘task’ of writing.
When I write, I’m not apart of the writing to be able to pause and look on what I’ve done so far. That tasks comes when we take a haitus from a story and need to jog our memory. No. When I write, my main trouble is in the story and how it may be unfolding.
After all the writing and editing comes the hardest thing I have to do; release the story with excitement and apprehension.
Will it do well? Won’t it? Will it read well or won’t it? Will they (the readers) feel the characters, be in their head, or won’t they?
Will they like me, or won’t they?
Yep. At the end of it all, the main reason we struggle to write reveals itself: me! The idea that the author invests so much time on their characters that it is said, (and I wholly agree) that each character possesses something of the author, they are the author. And who wouldn’t be nervous being scrutinized by readers such?
Not me. Hell, I’m even a tad nervous every time I post something or other in this blog. Why? Anxiety. Did you like it, or not? And that is the naked truth!